Bartolo Colon aiming to put himself in select company

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Before a public health disaster at O.co Coliseum sent players scrambling, Athletics starter Bartolo Colon pitched well against the Mariners, holding the opposition to two runs over seven innings on eight hits and zero walks. Colon lowered his ERA to 2.89 on the season and improved to 9-2.

If, somehow, Colon manages to keep his ERA below 3.00 by the end of the season (Sabermetric statistics indicate he won’t), he would join a select group of pitchers to toss enough innings to qualify for the ERA title and post a sub-3.00 ERA at the age of 40 or older. The last to do it was Roger Clemens in 2005, who put up a 1.87 ERA in 211.1 innings with the Astros. Both Clemens and Randy Johnson accomplished the feat in 2004. Prior to those two, Nolan Ryan did it with the Rangers in 1991.

The full list:

Player Year ERA Age Tm Lg IP
Bartolo Colon 2013 2.92 40 OAK AL 83.1
Roger Clemens 2005 1.87 42 HOU NL 211.1
Randy Johnson 2004 2.60 40 ARI NL 245.2
Roger Clemens 2004 2.98 41 HOU NL 214.1
Nolan Ryan 1991 2.91 44 TEX AL 173.0
Rick Reuschel 1989 2.94 40 SFG NL 208.1
Nolan Ryan 1987 2.76 40 HOU NL 211.2
Warren Spahn 1963 2.60 42 MLN NL 259.2
Connie Marrero 1952 2.88 41 WSH AL 184.1
Johnny Niggeling 1944 2.32 40 WSH AL 206.0
Ted Lyons 1942 2.10 41 CHW AL 180.1
Jack Quinn 1928 2.90 44 PHA AL 211.1
Pete Alexander 1927 2.52 40 STL NL 268.0
Eddie Plank 1916 2.33 40 SLB AL 235.2
Cy Young 1910 2.53 43 CLE AL 163.1
Cy Young 1909 2.26 42 CLE AL 294.1
Cy Young 1908 1.26 41 BOS AL 299.0
Cy Young 1907 1.99 40 BOS AL 343.1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/16/2013.

Robin Ventura, other familiar names come up in Mets managerial search

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Terry Collins is still the manager of the New York Mets, but all signs point to that state of affairs ending some time soon after Sunday afternoon. To that end, the New York Post reports a handful of familiar names being mentioned in connection with their impending managerial search:

Early persons of interest, according to industry sources, all have ties to the organization: Robin Ventura, Alex Cora and Kevin Long. Two others with ties to the organization — Bob Geren and Chip Hale — are also in the conversation, according to sources.

By the way: can we talk about how great it is that a term that is normally associated with criminal suspects — “persons of interest” — is being used in connection with potential future New York Mets managers? OK, we just talked about it.

These names, with the exception of Cora, all belong to former managers with Mets connections. Hale was the Mets third base coach and was passed over for the managerial gig when Collins was hired and eventually managed the Diamondbacks. Ventura, of course, played for the Mets for three seasons before retiring and becoming the White Sox’ manager. Geren was the Mets bench coach when they won the 2015 pennant but moved to the Dodgers to be closer to his family in California. He’s formally a manager with the Oakland A’s. Cora played a season and change with the Mets and has served as the bench coach for the Astros in the 2017 season.

In the recent past, as recently-retired players with little or no coaching or managerial experience were hired to manage teams, some people may have referred to these candidates as “retreads.” With Dusty Baker’s success in Washington after a few years of semi-retirement and with a number of inexperienced managers showing that they were not all that they were cracked up to be, however, the pendulum seems to be swinging back toward looking for experienced candidates.

Obviously the whole offseason will determine if I’m imagining that or if it does, in fact, becomes the trend. And, of course, the Mets actually have to formally let Collins go before hiring someone else. Not that I would put it past them to mess that up.

Pete Mackanin doesn’t know if he’ll be back as Phillies manager next year

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Back in May the Phillies gave Pete Mackanin a contract extension covering the remainder of 2017, all of 2018 and created a team option for 2019. Yesterday, however, Mackanin said he had no idea if the Phillies were going to bring him back as manager next season:

“I assume I’ll be here, but you never know. You never know what they’re going to do. So you just keep moving on. I just take it a day at a time and manage the way I think I should manage and handle players the way I think I should handle them. That’s all I can do. If it’s not good enough then … fine. I hope it’s good enough. I hope he thinks it’s good enough.”

Maybe that’s just cautious talk, though, as there doesn’t seem to be any signals coming from the Phillies front office that Mackanin is in trouble. If anything things have looked up in the second half of the season with the callups of Rhys Hoskins and Nick Williams each of whom have shown that they belong in the bigs. The team is 33-37 since the All-Star break and is certainly a better team now than the one Mackanin started with in April. And it’s not his fault that they don’t have any pitching.

I suspect Mackanin will be back next year, but Mackanin has been around the block enough times to know that nothing is guaranteed for a big league manager. Even one under contract.